Monday, December 13, 2010

Faith, Learning and NaNo

Have you ever thought about all the ways you have faith?
From all the 'biggies' everyone thinks of, such as belief in God, or Creator or things along those lines. But there's a myriad other ways that faith is presented as well, from belief in self, belief in others, to just belief in who we are and what we are doing.
For instance is there a writer out there that has not at sometime wavered in their belief and faith in themselves? In some way anyway. Wavering in faith along those lines can range anywhere from lack of faith of ever getting published to wondering if you are any good as a writer at all, to just wondering if the current work is worth the amount of work and faith you are putting in it. It just surprised me recently all the ways we have faith. Or how we seem to lose faith. In so many ways. In so many little appearing ways.
It's just interesting when things such as that occur to think about.

Like NaNo. Or officially NaNoWriMo. and yes, I did officially finish it. It was tight and close and a Very mad dash of word slinging. But I did make it. And given all the controversy around the effectiveness or usefulness of NaNo, I have to say I learned an awful lot from it.
Okay, so I really wanted half off the software package price that was being offered. But I gained other things as well. I did. I really did.
Did I gain a novel out of it? Don't know. Maybe. Someday. But that wasn't why I did NaNo. I didn't even read the rules. They weren't paying me or anything so I used it for what I wanted.
And yes, I got badgered into doing NaNo. Probably wouldn't have done it without it. But since I was doing it, and even though it was for getting the price break on the software, it turned out to be a lot more than what I even realized.
And one thing I realized was I got a great character study and great story study out of it. I had no idea what to even take into NaNo, I didn't really want or plan to NaNo, so when I got badgered into it the only thing that occurred to me was a 'minor' character that is minor part of two other books. She's the reason things happen the way they do in the books and why the other character's do and act the way they do but she's not really in the books. I have those books sketched out and even partly done but had never sat and really put down her name or anything about her. I knew I needed to have some information on her. Even though she might not be figuring directly in the books her actions and who she is does have bearing on them, so even indirectly things about her was going to come out. And I didn't even have a name for her let alone any kind of story background.
So that's what I used NaNo for. And I was Really surprised by all the things that came out!

What is there about sitting and writing words out that engages our brain differently than sitting and just thinking things out?
I often sit and just think and puzzle things out.
But one thing NaNo showed me is that might not be a complete substitute for just sitting down and letting your fingers and your brain fly.
Since there were great things that came flowing out that I don't think I would have ever thought of.
It was very interesting.

And instructive, since I never would have spent that kind of time working on this character and seeing if she had a story to tell that even could be or possibly be a book.
It would have felt like a waste of time.
But since I had agreed to do NaNo it wasn't.

A bit convoluted thinking perhaps but makes sense to me. And was worth it for all the things I learned. Which is a Lot more than what was just mentioned here.

Like to work a bit harder on balance. Balance all the things in life that seem to come in and take over and suck up writing time to put more writing time as priority, but also not put off everything else so much that it backs up so dreadfully that there's such a scramble to get everything done. Like now. And the Christmas deadline looms closer! ACK! More deadlines!